Virginia Delivered Balanced Budget on Time: Some Highlights
Mar 06, 2015

The balanced Virginia Budget was adopted with a strong vote in the House of Delegates of 94-5 and in the Senate of 38-1.

Highlights – Budget Conference Agreement

·         Spends ~$1 billion less in general funds than originally adopted two-year budget

·         Does not raise taxes

·         Pre-pays $129.5 million for 2017 rainy-day fund deposit, restoring balance to ~$429 million

·         Eliminates $11.7 million in fees proposed by Governor McAuliffe

  • Restaurant Inspection Fee
  • VDACS Inspection Fee
  • Weights & Measures Fee
  • Underground storage cleanup deductible
  • Saltwater License Fee

·         Eliminates $33 million in debt proposed by Governor McAuliffe

·         Provides $43 million in funding in order to accelerate funding at 90% of VRS certified rates for the state employee retirement plans.

·         Pays cash for all college capital projects

K-12 Education

·         State funding for 1.5% teacher pay raise, including support staff

·         Overall increase of $60 million for K-12 education compared to Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal

·         Deposits an additional $43 million into teacher retirement fund compared to Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal, bringing the total deposit to $193 million

Compensation

·         Provides 2% across-the-board raise for state police and state employees, including compression for senior classified employees

·         $4 million to rollback cuts to state police overtime

·         2% pay raise for state-supported local employees

·         1.5% teacher pay raise, including support staff (second teacher pay raise in state budget in 3 years)

·         2% college faculty pay raise

·         Total compensation package is $153.5 million

Local Government

·         Restores $30 million in funding cuts adopted by the supplemental budget to address shortfall

·         2% pay raise for state-supported local employees

·         Deposits $193 million into teacher retirement fund, saving localities over $30 million in required teacher retirement costs

Higher Education

·         Includes an additional $42 million for higher education, restoring 94% of cuts adopted by the supplemental budget to address shortfall

·         $19.8 million to incentivize enrollment

·         $10.1 million for financial aid

·         $5 million for research

·         2% faculty pay raise

·         $1,000 per student incentive to encourage colleges and universities with low graduation rates to accept transfer students

·         $132 million for capital construction projects at James Madison, Virginia Tech, Longwood, Radford, Virginia Commonwealth University and Danville Community College.

Healthcare Safety Net

·         ­­­­$132.9 million for healthcare safety net

·         Funding to provide targeted services to ~22,000 seriously mentally-ill patients, including a prescription drug benefit

·         Nearly doubles operational funding for free clinics – total of $6 million in funding

·         Funds behavioral health community services including three new PACT teams and six new drop-off centers

·         Increases funding for children’s psychiatry and crisis services

Other Items

·         $27 million in funding for the Governor’s Opportunity Fund; Authorizes bonds to construct two new Veterans Care Centers

·         $9 million for housing & homelessness

·         $8 million deposit into the Housing Trust Fund

·         $1 million for rapid rehousing efforts, including $500,000 specifically for veterans